The Japanese company has come up with another way of showing its technical prowess, with the ‘Intelligent Vehicle Transport’ system catering for certain duties at the automaker’s Oppama, Japan factory.
While only in recent years we’ve been looking towards autonomous cars as something that can be achieved in regular traffic, the fact is self-driving vehicles have been working in car plants for many more years. They are usually simple systems – guided by rails or magnetic tape – which is not exactly cheap or practical. Nissan has now come up with a solution to the issue – the Intelligent Vehicle Transport. As we can clearly see from the images, the IVT is a Nissan Leaf hooked to a trailer – the vehicle has been jam packed with cameras and sensors that allow for autonomous driving. A range of test Leafs are being monitored at Nissan’s huge production facility in Oppama, Japan to haul around finished vehicles from the production line to quayside storage areas, thus relieving a team of drivers from the job.
Three cars can be towed on each journey – and at the finish point a human can unload and park them. The autonomous driving system uses data from the sensors and maps, can stop for hazards and even decide right of way when two IVTs meet – but the cars can also be shut down remotely from the central control room. Testing has actually started about a year ago, so the IVTs have already clocked more than 1,600 test runs in all conditions and at every time of day.